MENTAL NOTE

"Though we cannot make our sun stand still, yet we will make him run."
Blue, resist the urge to use facebook. You can do it. Good luck.
Cats and dogs can be friends. So can cowboys and indians. So can we.
Why try to be the best when there's no hierarchy in heaven?

Friday, July 7, 2017

It's Got Groove, It's Got Meaning

When studio bobos butt out, the chances are pretty good that you'll be served a movie that's not only worth your while but one that makes you relish a second helping. Take Grease, the original movie from 1978. It is such a case in point, and I only wish studios would stop their endless barrage of loud, generic movies and instead, with a sense of pride, dish out gems that can withstand the test of time.


Grease was the word, and in my book it still is. Oh I was there on June 13. I remember the unexpected excitement. I was an eight-year-old puppy gazing at the long line down the block when it premiered back in the day. I recently heard Stockard Channing (Rizzo) explain that "at the time, in the business, this movie was not appreciated, and whereas the people, the audiences, went nuts for it ─ they still are ─ everyone in the business was sort of puzzled by its success." Which only confirms what I've long suspected: that studio execs know diddly-squat about what constitutes movie excellence. They just don't know. They think they know, and in so doing mix up their executive power with the creativity they so sorely lack. It also explains why a plethora of movies today are nothing but a hollow mess, plain stupid and, well, forgettable. Why would anyone want to make movies that are forgettable?

Let's not ponder that question because the answer is money. Enter Danny Zuko et al. We listened to the songs. We marveled at the chemistry. And all was good. Rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong.

Then, a couple of years down the line, some studio bobo relished the idea of a sequel. Studio bobos gathered. They smiled. They grinned. They patted each other on the back. They loved their own undisputable inventiveness. "Yes, let's make Grease 2! Let's be quick to cash in on the success of the first one! Okay, what we need is..." Well, what we got is forgettable songs and forgettable dialogue. Imitation was in the air, boys and girls, not to mention a John Travolta wannabe with absolutely zero charisma yet a smile that said, "Toothpaste commercial!" But I get it, Studio Bobos & Company: instead of being black haired, this hunk-a-junk is blond and, wait a minute, this time it's the guy, not the girl (Olivia oh Olivia), who's a well-brought-up-and-pretty-much-all-decent Sandra Dee. How creative. "What we need is..."

No, what you need is devotion. What you need is a hunger for excellence. What you need is for your brainchild to be real and to feel real. Grease is the word. Grease 2... not so much. But studios will never learn. Or care for that matter.

* * *


86 comments:

  1. Sigh.
    And if sequels aren't enough then we will run a prequel too.

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    1. Does that mean the next Kindergarten Cop will be Nursery Cop? Arnold will scare all the babies.

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    2. "Boys have a penis, girls have a vagina..." Scary stuff...

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    3. Nursery Cop sounds as scary as Terminator Genisys: Brain-dead.

      "Thanks for the tip."

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  2. Alas, some people will never learn. Wonderful thoughts. Do have a great weekend!

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    1. You, too! Thank you for stopping by once again.

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  3. Never watched that one... I don't do Travolta... he's just weird.... even weirder than Cruise and Cage and more wacko than Jacko. What do crazy stunts involve?

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    1. He's weird now. We're talking 1978. Crazy stunts involve driving and moon dancing.

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  4. I had a mighty crush on Olivia . . . omg.
    She is still alive and looks good but unfortunately breast cancer has spread to her back and various bones. Alas a re-run of what happened to my darling wife.

    Returning to the point, sequels NEVER work. Did they not try to do one after Gone With The Wind?

    Imagine what Ben Hur 2 and Ben Hur 3 might be like, or Cleopatra 2 and Cleopatra 3. . . . . lol

    My daughter played Rizzo in a local production . . . :)

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    1. That's horrible, just plain horrible. Sigh. What can we say, right? And your sweet wife, too...

      I can think of 3 sequels that worked (The Empire Strikes Back, Aliens, and Back to the Future 2) and 400 that didn't work and 4,000,000 that are not going to work... Oh darn, Ben Hur 2: The Search for More Money... Cleopatra 2: Unfinished Business... lol

      Rizzo rocked. Excellent songs, too.

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  5. Oliva was hot back in the day. Not bad looking now.
    First one was all right. Never saw the second. Third would be scary now if they did it with the same characters.
    Aliens and Empire both were great sequels. So was Lethal Weapon II. They should've left it at that...
    As for sequels to super hero movies - they can make all of those that they want.

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    1. Lethal Weapon 2... Great movie. Miss Van Den Haas.... "But... you're black..." Leo Gets...

      Great stuff.

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  6. I remember my parents taking me to see it in the theater. I guess I had just turned 15 as I remember it was summer. I loved it, but I remember my mom commenting that it was a 'dirty movie.' LOL! Still good music to this day!

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    1. Well, your Mom was right. A bun in the oven, hickeys, dirty dancing and Rizzo's song... "Elvis, keep your pelvis far from me!"

      Fantastic songs.

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  7. Hey Blue,

    Do I get bonus points for commenting at almost two in the morning? Yes? No? Who is this commenting?

    Sequels, eh. How about sequels to blogs?

    The Blue Grumpster . . . well, usually, usually.

    Now then, how about a sequel to "Groundhog Day"?
    Now then, how about a sequel to "Groundhog Day"?

    Take it Greasy, Blue. Um, take it easy, Blue.

    Gary, Gary, nary contrary......

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    1. At least 10 bonus points plus a Scooby snack for your little friend. My blog was rebooted twice and it still sucks so hard I'm almost excited haha!

      Strike that! (delete delete repeat repeat)

      Gary Gary always flairy

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  8. Olivia Newton-John really rocked at one time.

    Sequels are most often a waste of time and money.

    Sequels mean that creativity is somehow lacking.

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    1. "Yes, let's add a kid and lots of references to the first one, and..." Sometimes a sequel is made because the director loves the characters, and I understand that, but it's rare for a sequel or remake (The Thing) to be great. I mean, The Pink Panther should never have been remade.

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  9. I never saw Grease two, I find that strange as I really enjoyed the first one.

    There are worse things I could do

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLKneWja-ao

    but I can feel and I can cry
    A fact I'll bet you never knew
    but to cry in front of you
    That's the worst thing I could do

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    1. I love that song. Very convincing and heartfelt. That's a prime ecample of memorable stuff, True.

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    2. Hey Blue, thanks for giving me a part that is full of sass. A woman who knows what she wants. There is depths in her character.

      With a cast and crew like that it has to be a winner. We are a strange group of characters. LOL..

      So nice of you to include us in this blockbuster

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    3. I know this movie by heart. I love the chemistry of the cast, the humor, the naughtiness, the memorable scenes and songs, the look of the movie, the sheer enthusiasm...

      But the question is... are you a good singer? ;)

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    4. Hi Blue

      Of course I can sing in my dreams...

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    5. And what would be your favorite song to sing?

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    6. From Grease, favorite songs :

      Hopelessly Devoted to You
      You're the One that I want

      What song is your favorite Blue?

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  10. Some movies can continue on as sequels. Some cannot. Takes good writing and good acting and directing. Something I think Grease 2 didn't have on any of those parts.

    betty

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  11. Some sequels are good, but others not so good. I've never seen "Grease 2," BTW.

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    1. Which are your favorite sequels, Jamie? Not having seen Grease 2 is a good thing.

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  12. Yep, a load of crap
    Creativity take a nap
    Reboot, redo, remake, sequelize,Prequelize, tv to movie, movie to tv
    That is the way to be
    Minimal effort but want big dough
    Just put something shiny in the show
    Some toothpaste commercial guy
    And it's a hit, oh my
    Pfffft once more
    There have been may a good encore
    But most are utter trash
    Forgettable at best with their bash
    Terminator 2, Aliens, Lethal Weapon 2, Shrek 2, Toy Story series are all ones that show it can be done
    Die hard 4 and 5, Indiana Jones 4, Terminator 3,4,5, Star Wars 1,2,3, Weekend at Bernies 2 all show why many should never be spun.

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    1. Die Hard 4 and 5
      Should not be alive
      Indiana 4
      Gets shown the door
      T3-5 get thrown in a beehive
      Though the woman in 3
      Beats Scooby Dooweeeeee
      Too bad the story was crap and not funny
      Talk-to-the-hand terminator bunny
      The Star Wars prequels are a menace all right
      As is Bernie 2, day or night
      Alien 3 flipped Cameron the bird by killing of Newt and Hicks. This reviewer goes psycho when you remind him of this fact: CLICK! (2:10), using a baseball bat to beat the crap out of his Alien 3 video tape hahaha.

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    2. lmao he really really hated that
      Can't say I disagree as it was scat

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    3. Psycho but right
      Day and night
      So depressing to start a movie that way
      Ditch Aliens in a bay
      And how did that one get on the ship
      Oops Alien to the power of 3... what that a slip?
      Well, Scooby Dooweee
      And how can the effects were worse than #1?
      That wasn't fun...

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    4. Made it for less dough
      Crap on the go
      Pennies on the dime
      Can go suck a lime

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  13. Looking at your cast and crew, #3 is already scads better than that wretched sequel. And... Wow! I get to direct! I hope I'm up to the challenge.

    Also, as far as Grease 2 goes, I don't know anyone who's ever seen it.

    The first one is a deserved classic, of course, but one thing has always bothered me: Why doesn't the theme song sound like a 1950s song?

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    1. That has always bothered me too. It sounds like a disco song from 1978, and that's because it was written by the Bee Gees, who had written the songs for Saturday Night Fever the year before. What I also didn't get was how come many cast members sounded like they were from N.Y. while clearly the school was located somewhere in California. Oh well, the movie was so great we let those minor things pass. I know only one person who has seen Grease 2, and that poor fella is me. I know. Can't believe Michelle Pfeiffer was a lead in this hunk-a-junk, but it was only her 3rd or fourth movie.

      Yes, you're up to the challenge because you know everything there is to know about good movies.

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    2. Seen crappy Grease 2
      A one and done view

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    3. I switched it off after the first song
      Didn't take long

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    4. I suppose Michelle Pfeiffer can be excused, as it was so near the start of her career, and... Oh, who am I kidding? This is Michelle Pfeiffer we're talking about! Of course she can be excused. Besides, she graced us with her presence in Scarface the very next year.

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    5. Yes, she can be excused. She has talent, all right. Love Scarface. Now THAT'S a movie!

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    6. But she needed a rider that's cool
      How can you forgive such a fool? lol

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  14. I just got my picture taken on the Grease scene with my arms wrapped around Danny Zuko. I don't think Sandy minded much though, she was laughing right beside us (Madame Tussaud's wax museum). ;) I never saw the second Grease, I still love the first one. :)

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    1. Well, good for you! Are you sure Sandy didn't mind?

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  15. I liked the first movie, it was just ok for me though. I think some franchises are alright when they break out 3, 4, 5, movie sequels after the first one is a success. Most times the subsequent movies are never as good as the first one though.

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    1. Ok still beats terrible :) Sequels tend to be cash grabs.

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  16. Ooh. Ooh. I get to do a screenplay. I'm so excited:) Thank you:)
    Travolta sure took a different turn in his movies since/from Grease, didn't he?
    Love the meme for Grease III:)

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    1. You're welcome. You're talented so it all makes perfect sense to me. Travolta's weird these days. Don't know what happened to him.

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  17. A sequel to whet the appetite
    It had better be a good one
    Grease was really a cool bite
    But a third needs to create wants

    Or as sequels go it might just flop
    They have to get it right to start with
    How do young people these days go hot
    Then no need to ask 'where's the beef?'

    Hank

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    1. A bite do cool
      Didn't make us drool
      Directed by a fool
      Needed to go back to school

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  18. I just finished the Dark Tower series and now I'm deathly afraid of what they're going to do to it with the movie this fall...

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  19. Doody and Sonny checking in! People are going to go NUTS when they see our drunken dance number.

    (Maybe not good nuts, but nuts, regardless)

    I kept reading studio bobos as studio boobs. Potato/potatoe, right?

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    1. Boobs? That's so... not exciting haha.

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  20. I really enjoyed the movie but for some reason it's one that I could only watch once. Sometimes I get a movie like that. And sometimes I can watch it a million times, but only to a certain point, like Pretty Woman. I can only watch it up to the point that Richard Gere tells his slimey attorney that she's a call girl and then I lose interest.

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  21. Well, I always considered myself a beauty school dropout, so Frenchie would be a good fit. I always loved the songs. Like Dirty Dancing, they were both movies that were made to be remembered. Then, here come the awful sequels that they still keep trying to spit out at us to this day. Nonsense is what it is.

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    1. Don't you mean... dropout school beauty? Saw Dirty Dancing only yesterday. Can't believe Patrick Swayze is gone...

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  22. I liked 'Grease'. I haven't seen the sequel. I'm not one for watching films, so am not up to date on releases.

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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    1. Well, you did watch Grease, and you liked it too. That counts for something :)

      Thanks for stopping by, Andrew.

      Blue

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  23. Hopelessly devoted to Blue! Just wait to you see the photos - work it Zuko!

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  24. It's pretty hard for a sequel to live up to an original classic. I'm not sure why producers even try. They need to think up new things.

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  25. Randy, can’t you see, I’m in misery? Bora dreams, ripped at the seams….but, oh, those...tears on my pillow, the pain in my heart... Thank God that chocolate rolls are here to stay, I don’t care what people say.

    But, Blue moon, you saw me standing alone;the most mixed up non delinquent on the block - My future’s so unclear now. Can’t you see we go together? We’re one of a kind.

    Fancy a hand jive? There are worst things I could do. You know it would be oh so go greased lightning you're burning up the quarter mile like, chang chang changitty chang sha-bop. That's the way it should be -Wah-oooh, yeah! ;)

    Look at me, I’m teasing thee. I was not brought up that way and even though you’re the one that I want, keep your filthy paws off my silky drawers! Blue Elvis, let me be! Keep that pelvis far from me!
    and shhhh...Grease is the word.

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    1. You beat me to it. I was thinking about doing something similar but, well, you outcomment me Jules Smith Style (notice the capitals?).

      Lots of people thought this was a dirty movie...

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  26. You'd make a way better job of it. Leave the hand jive to me though. ;P

    What do people know about anything?

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  27. I agree with everything you said Blue! I think the only movie I liked all the sequels to, was Lethal Weapon.
    Blue, you look cute in the Grease car!

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    1. Love Lethal Weapon 2: "Miss Van Den Haas." Excellent name! "But... but.... you're blek."

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  28. It was a huge film when it came out.

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  29. Totally lining up to see you!

    I only saw that movie as a rerun and even as a kid, I was like, WTF? Why would anyone watch this?

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    1. "The chicks'll cream..." Now, who said that and why? (A true wtf moment) ;)

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  30. Ha ha! Now I would go see YOUR version of Grease!

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  31. I'm not a big film watcher ... but Grease was a great film.
    So often the first ones are the best and sequels can be a let down ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. Sequels... are usually disappointing. Not always, but usually. Thanks for stopping by again :)

      Blue

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  32. So sorry for my long absence but what a fun post to come back to. I would totally go see Grease III if Zuko Blue was the lead.

    I agree with your assessment of Grease II. Totally forgettable.

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    1. There you are. I was wondering where you were. I'll stop by real soon ok? :)

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